Intel’s power-sipping Core i5-8250U was the headliner of one of our recent reviews, but many readers left that review wanting to talk about Nvidia’s MX150, the graphics card paired up with the Core i5-8250U in one of our test notebooks. The MX150 proved to be an impressive entry-level graphics card, considering that it fits in nicely into ultrabooks and has a remarkably small impact on battery life. The notebook we tested was able to produce playable frame rates in The Witcher 3 at 1600×900, and that’s no small feat for an ultrabook.
As impressed as we were, though, we imagine that a lot of folks out there would prefer a notebook with a bit more gaming prowess. While there are more powerful graphics cards in Nvidia’s mobile lineup, the GTX 1050 Ti might be the natural step up from the MX150. Announced earlier this year, this pint-size Pascal powerhouse is more suited for gamers hoping to keep their display resolution at 1920×1080, even when playing contemporary triple-A games—though not typically with in-game graphics settings maxed out.
To help us assess the performance of the mobile GTX 1050 Ti specifically, and more generally to help our readers learn what to expect from this year’s midrange gaming notebooks, we sent out some feelers to the laptop folks at MSI. The company is no stranger to the GTX 1050 Ti, as it has no less than ten different laptops equipped with the graphics card. The model that MSI sent over is the GP62 7REX Leopard Pro, an attractive notebook that’s fairly representative of what folks can expect to purchase between $1000 and $1500 these days. Our particular GP62 7REX rings in at $1300 at e-tail right now.
Like many of today’s gaming notebooks, the GP62’s hardware list starts with Intel’s Core i7-7700HQ. This four-core, eight-thread processor has been the go-to mobile gaming CPU of 2017. With a base frequency of 2.80 GHz and a max turbo frequency of 3.80 GHz, it’s proven to be more than capable of keeping Nvidia’s Pascal graphics cards fed and busy. MSI pairs this processor up with 16GB of 2400 MT/s DDR4 RAM (though, regrettably, in a single-channel configuration) and the aforementioned GTX 1050 Ti. For storage duties, MSI includes a 128GB M.2 SSD and a mechanical spinner with 1TB of storage space on tap.
MSI packages this hardware up in an attractive, sensibly-designed chassis that’s a mixture of metal and plastic. While it’s not as slim as the notebooks in the company’s Stealth series, the GP62 is just a bit slimmer than MSI’s regular models. At its thinnest, the GP62 is 0.86″ thick (21.8 mm), but back by the display hinge it’s 1.14″ thick (29.0 mm). The display cover has an elegant brushed-metal cover, and it’s adorned with MSI’s red shield logo. Flipping up the lid reveals a RGB LED-backlit keyboard designed by SteelSeries that’s both visually striking and a pleasure to type on.
Like many other gaming notebooks in its price range, the GP62 has a relatively ordinary 15.6″ display with a 1920×1080 resolution and a 60 Hz refresh rate. The 6-cell 41 Wh battery is a bit on the small side, perhaps to make some room for the optical drive. The notebook’s sound system is a cut above ordinary, though, with its four speakers and MSI’s Nahimic surround-sound software.
|GP62 7REX Leopard Pro|
|Processor||Intel Core i7-7700HQ|
|Memory||16 GB DDR4-2400 (1 DIMM, single-channel)|
|Graphics||Nvidia GeForce GTX 1050 Ti with 4 GB GDDR5 RAM|
|Display||15.6″ panel with 1920×1080 max resolution|
|Storage||Toshiba XG3 M.2 PCIe NVMe 128 GB SSD
HGST Travelstar 7K1000 1 TB HDD
DVD Super Multi
|Audio||4x 2W speakers|
|Expansion and display outputs||1x USB 3.1 Type-C
2x USB 3.0
1x USB 2.0
|Card reader||1 SD card reader|
|Communications||Intel Dual Band Wireless-AC 3168 (802.11ac)
Killer E2400 Gigabit Ethernet
|Input Devices||RGB LED backlit keyboard
|Dimensions||15.1″ x 10.2″ x 0.86″ (382.8 x 259.8 x 21.8 mm)|
|Weight||4.8 lbs (2.2 kg)|
6.5″ x 3.13″ x 1″ (165.1 x 79.5 x 25.4 mm)
As we noted a bit ago, Newegg sells this configuration of the GP62 for $1,299. Let’s dig in and see what it can do.